Have Arena.net Abandoned Their Promises?

Guild Wars 2 will be different, said developers Arena.net. It’ll not have a conventional endgame. You’ll not have to grind for ages to get the best weapons.

And yesterday, it would seem, they’ve broken their promise, by introducing new endgame weapons that require a lot of effort to get and – yes – are more powerful than any other weapon.

But have they really broken their promise? Is it as simple as it seems? Or is there more to it?

  • Healing The Masses is deploying unusual levels of sarcasm for a normally very optimistic blog – they’re not at all happy” I have never seen a more perfect example of a pointless artificial gear grind before but this is a masterpiece… Just what we apparently wanted too, so who do I thank.”
  • Spinks gives us an overview of the situation and reactions to it so far, saying that if it quacks like a conventional endgame, it probably is a conventional endgame“Truth is, in a game that was going to break open the MMOsphere by ditching all the conventions, this new content and gear looks very much like a traditional endgame gear progression.”
  • Optimus Maleficus thinks that this is a PR fail, not an actual threat to the endgame at all“Massively and MMORPG.com‘s articles only had vague details about “better than exotic” and “even more powerful” that revealed the existence of new high-level items, but didn’t provide enough detail to prevent pessimistic imaginations from running wild.”
  • Hunter’s Insight is choosing to err on the side of glass half-full” I’m not really thrilled that I’ll be replacing my rings but I’m happy that I’m going to have more stuff to do and that Arenanet is charging forward with new content and ideas. “
  • Entombed feels this is indeed a betrayal of Arena.net’s promises, and presents a number of powerful arguments to back that feeling up” ArenaNet, you appear to be out of touch with your players. If you are truly the company that cares about us, why not make an open discussion/poll about it? Why not ask the players for what they want, instead of just throwing it at us?”
  • And Syp humbly suggests that Arenanet might have wanted to learn the lessons of MMOs past a bit better“Now this, this I know. I know this because LOTRO did it for years. It was called Radiance, and it was about as popular and beloved as a scabby plague rat scatting all over your oatmeal in the morning. “

I’m not at the endgame in GW2 yet (yeah, yeah – I level slowly) but it’s hard to read this as anything other than a U-Turn on ANet’s “no gear grind” policy. I wonder what the next move will be?

What do you think?